Americans Voting in an Election
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Some States Grant Paid Time Off To Vote. Is Yours Among Them?

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Americans Voting in an Election
adamkaz/istockphoto

Voting on Company Time

Election Day is fast approaching and in addition to researching candidates and proposals, you also may be planning when and how you'll cast your vote and go to work all on the same day. Some states make the guessing game a little bit easier to play and mandate paid time off for employees so they can head to the polls. Others, well, don't. Knowing your state's laws on requiring time off to vote — paid or not — can help soothe Election Day jitters.


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Alaska Midterm Election
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Arizona House of Representatives
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Arizona

You'll get three hours off to vote (as long as you put in a day's notice) at the beginning or end of your shift in Arizona unless your shift allows for the same amount of free time before or after. 


More information about voting in Arizona can be found on the Arizona Secretary of State website.


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San Francisco City Hall
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California

Planning a trip to the polls in Cali? You're entitled to two hours off at the beginning or end of your shift, but be sure you provide notice of your time off two business days ahead of Election Day.


More information about voting in California can be found on the California Secretary of State website.


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House of Representatives Chamber Colorado State Capitol
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Colorado

Employers decide when employees in Colorado can take time off to go vote, but workers can plan on two hours of paid time off to fulfill their civic duty.


More information about voting in Colorado can be found on the Colorado Secretary of State website.

U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC
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District of Columbia

It's only right that workers in the nation's capital get paid time off from their day jobs to go vote. District of Columbia workers get two hours off, although when is at the behest of their employers.


More information about voting in Washington can be found the District of Columbia Board of Elections website

A view of the House of Representative Chamber in the Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta
A view of the House of Representative Chamber in the Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta by DXR (None)

Georgia

Scoot out for two hours of paid time off to take a trip to the polls in Georgia — as long as your shift isn't at a time that would allow for the same amount of free time before or after (states love that loophole). 


More information about voting in Georgia can be found at georgia.gov.

Hawaii State House Chambers
Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii

Take advantage of two hours of paid time off to go vote in Hawaii, but don't lie about your whereabouts and hit the beach instead — employers in the state require a proof of voting receipt.


More information about voting in Hawaii can be found on the Hawaii Office of Elections website.

Illinois House of Representatives
Illinois House of Representatives by Daniel Schwen (None)

Illinois

Employees have to give a day's notice if they're planning to take the allocated two hours of paid time off to vote in Illinois, and they're only granted time off if they don't have the same amount of leeway before or after their shift.


More information about voting in Illinois can be found on the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Chamber to the Iowa House of Representatives
Wikimedia Commons

Iowa

You get three hours of paid time off in Iowa to go vote, so there's no need to sweat about long lines at your polling station. Just make sure you give notice of your time off a day in advance.


More information about voting in Iowa can be found on the Iowa Secretary of State website.

Kansas State Capitol Building
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Kansas

In Kansas, employees get two hours of time off with no deduction on pay, but employers decide when they get to scoot out and it's not during lunch.


More information about voting in Kansas can be found on the Kansas Secretary of State website.

Maryland House of Representatives
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Maryland

If you live and work in Maryland, you get two hours of paid time off to vote, but don't overlook the fine print. You only get paid if your shift is at a time that doesn't allow the same amount of free time before or after work, you have to request the time off in advance, and you also need to bring proof of voting back with you.


More information about voting in Maryland can be found on the Maryland State Board of Elections website.

House Chamber of the Minnesota State Capitol
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Minnesota

Finally, a state without a time limit to vote on company time. Just make sure you do it in the morning, Minnesotans. That's all your state asks.


More information about voting in Minnesota can be found on the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

Missouri House of Representatives Chamber
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Missouri

Give your employer a heads up, bring back proof that you voted, and make sure you don't have free time surrounding the beginning or end of your shift and you can get three hours of paid time off to head to the polls in Missouri.


More information about voting in Missouri can be found on the Missouri Secretary of State website.

Nebraska State Capitol
Walter Bibikow / Getty

Nebraska

Although when you leave work to go cast your vote is up to your employer, you get a whole two hours of paid time off to do so in Nebraska.


More information about voting in Nebraska can be found on the Nebraska Secretary of State website.

Nevada State Assembly Building
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Nevada

Alright, Nevada. Way to make things more complicated than they need to be. Here's the deal: If your polling location is within two miles of your place of work, you get one hour of paid time off to vote. If you have to travel 10 miles or more, you get three hours. And if your shift and polling location equate to "there's enough time for you to vote and still complete your entire shift," you get nothing. 


More information about voting in Nevada can be found on the Nevada Secretary of State website.

House of Representatives Chamber New Mexico State Capitol
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New Mexico

Voters in New Mexico get two hours of paid time off from work to go vote as long as they don't have time to do so before or after their shift.


More information about voting in New Mexico can be found on the New Mexico Secretary of State website.

New York State Assembly Chamber
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New York

If you have four consecutive hours of free time before or after your shift you don't get paid time off to vote in New York, but if you don't (which is more likely, let's be honest) you get two hours of compensated time.


More information about voting in New York can be found on the New York State Board of Elections website.

Ohio State Capitol Building
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Ohio

Sneaky, ambiguous Ohio. Workers in the Buckeye State get pay for "a reasonable amount of time" to vote, but only if you're a salaried employee. Sorry, hourly working Ohioans. 


More information about voting in Ohio can be found on the Ohio Secretary of State website.

Oklahoma House of Representatives
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Oklahoma

Oklahoma understands that some people commute to work and grants employees two hours of paid time off with room for more if their polling locations are farther away. Just know that your employer decides when you get to leave work and you have to bring proof back with you.


More information about voting in Oklahoma can be found on the Oklahoma State Election Board website.

House of Representatives Chamber South Dakota State Capitol
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South Dakota

Like many other states, South Dakota will give workers two hours of paid time off as long as that free time doesn't exist before or after their shift.


More information about voting in South Dakota can be found on the South Dakota Secretary of State website.

House Chambers in the Tennessee State Capitol.
House Chambers in the Tennessee State Capitol. by Ichabod (None)

Tennessee

Let your employer know before noon the day before Election Day that you need to take time off to vote and you'll be met with three hours of paid time off in Tennessee.


More information about voting in Tennessee can be found on the Tennessee Secretary of State website.

Texas House of Representatives
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Texas

Workers in the Lonestar State enjoy paid time off to vote with — wait for it — no restrictions! Everything is bigger in Texas after all.


More information about voting in Texas can be found on the Texas Secretary of State website.

Utah House Chamber
raclro / Getty

Utah

Utah workers get two hours of paid time off to perform their civic duty as long as three hours of free time doesn't provide sufficient opportunity to vote before or after their shift.


More information about voting in Utah can be found at vote.utah.gov.

State Capitol Building in Charleston, West Virginia
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West Virginia

West Virginia follows a rule of threes when it comes to paid time off for workers' voting needs: Employees get three hours of paid time off unless they have three hours before or after their shift to vote, and they have to provide three days notice if they need that time off.


More information about voting in West Virginia can be found on the West Virginia Secretary of State website.

House of Representatives Chamber Wyoming State Capitol
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Wyoming

If you have three hours before or after your shift to head to the polls, you don't get paid time off to vote in Wyoming. But if you don't have that time, you get an hour of paid time off to vote — interesting how voting seemingly takes less time when you're on the clock. 


More information about voting in Wyoming can be found on the Wyoming Secretary of State website.

Black Woman Putting Voting Ballot in Bin
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States With Unpaid Time Off

These states stipulate time off to go vote, but don't require employers to pay you for it. Employers, of course, can choose to pay employees if they wish to do so.

Conceptual image of a person voting during elections
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States With No Laws Mandating Time Off To Vote

If you're in one of these states, there is no state-sanctioned time off to go vote, though your employer may choose to provide time off and even pay you for it: